Eros, Anne Kursinski’s partner for team silver at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, died June 13 after suffering a bout of colic. He was 33.
Eros, an Australian-bred Thoroughbred (Family Ties—Tudor Success, Mambrino), was purchased in 1993 from Adam Wootten by the Eros Group, who originally consisted of Kursinski, her partner Carol Hoffman, Fran Steinwedell, Carlene Blunt, Allan Shore, Robin Parsky, Terry Regan, Murray Goodman, Dean Edwards, and Rod and Nancy Lindsay.
“He was probably one of the last great Thoroughbred grand prix horses,” said Kursinski. “He was so light, just like a bird. He was an incredible athlete and so smart and so in tune with me.”
Eros’ earliest big win was at the 1994 American Gold Cup (Pennsylvania), and he earned team silver in Atlanta two years later. One of his biggest victories came in Monterrey, Mexico, at the 1998 $450,000 Pulsar Crown Grand Prix, the richest grand prix at the time, and Kursinski became both the first American and the first woman to win. He also contributed to Nations Cup wins at Rome and St. Gallen (Switzerland). He also won two legs of the Pulsar Triple Crown, a precursor to today’s Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, finishing second in the final leg in Aachen (Germany).
Throughout his career Hermès would send Eros his favorite treat, pears from Harry & David.
“It was so wonderful that we got to get him as a 5-year-old and bring him along, and dream that he would go to the Olympics then realize that dream,” said Kursinski. “He taught me all of life’s lessons, and I’m so thankful to the various owners I had with him who supported him along the way. To have a horse of a lifetime for a lifetime really doesn’t happen that much, and it was so special to have him for 28 years. He still had fans. People would come for lessons and want to see him and get their picture taken with him. He was always so sweet, just a good boy.
“Even now before I left the barn I said goodbye to him when I left,” she continued. “I went down and gave him a pear and rubbed his head. He’s been a part of my life, a part of me, really.”
Eros retired in 2007 in a formal ceremony at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida and remained at Kursinski’s Market Street facility in Frenchtown, New Jersey, for the rest of his life.